SACRAMENTO — Senator Melissa Hurtado (D-Sanger) today introduced legislation to create greater access to childcare for our agricultural workers in the hours needed to support their jobs.
“Agriculture is the backbone of our community – those who uproot their lives to provide the food we eat must have access to childcare for the hours they work,” said Senator Hurtado. “California must do whatever it can to meet the needs of these workers and their children.”
The legislation, Senate Bill 393, aligns California’s lone Migrant Childcare Alternative Payment Program with funding available to other parental choice voucher-based childcare programs. Due to an antiquated statute, the program did not receive a fair share of new childcare slots for workers to access.
Updating the law will support the needs of migrant workers during the pandemic, allowing them to receive their fair share of emergency funding. Agricultural workers will now be positioned to receive additional ongoing childcare slots as the state prioritizes this need.
“This legislation will support California’s Migrant Childcare Alternative Payment Program which travels with migrant families as they move from county to county following the seasonal cycles of agricultural crops and products" said Jeremy Tobias, CEO of Community Action Partnership of Kern (CAPK).
SB 393 is a direct result of Senator Hurtado’s efforts to incorporate constituent ideas into her legislation. In November 2020, Senator Hurtado issued the call for district-inspired legislation in a press release and postings on social media. SB 393 was submitted to the Senator via her website here: https://sd14.senate.ca.gov/submit-bill-ideas